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Indians Win Semi-Final With Fine Play

The Indians earned a 66-45 victory over a scrappy Wichita County team in the semi-final contest of the Sagebrush Shootout Basketball Tournament on Friday, December 8. The Indians used a third quarter blitz to blow the game open, and with everyone suited seeing playing time, cruised to a wide-margin win to advance to the championship contest on Saturday. The Wichita County (WC) was a formidable opponent and played well, but the Indians were sharp in their execution throughout the evening.

An assist from Tate Busse to Dalton Straub gave the Indians a 5-0 lead. WC's 6' 4" senior postman John Biermann followed with an offensive rebound basket and a nice post score. After a St. Francis turnover, Gabe Hernandez's (5' 6" So.) score gave WC their only lead of the contest (5-6). Richard Johnson scored on a strong move in the lane, and Busse added three free-throws. Wichita County called time-out trailing 10-6 with 2:08 left in the period. Returning to action, Busse drained a top-of-the-key trey to extend the Indians' lead to 13-6. WC's Sonny Altman (6' 1" So.) followed with an offensive rebound score. Busse's steal-two dunk soon answered. The final basket of the quarter was scored by WC's Tristan Bishop (6'0" Sr.). St. Francis held a narrow 15-10 lead after one quarter of play.

The Indians stretched the margin to ten points early in the second period. Tate Busse scored on a cut to the basket after receiving an nice assist from Brady Dinkel. After two WC free-throws, Busse added a driving score, and then Dalton Straub scored from the post (assist Adam Krien). The baskets increased the Indians' lead to ten points (22-12). The teams would trade baskets throughout the remainder of the first half. Straub sandwiched another post score in between baskets by Bishop and Biermann. A second steal and dunk by Busse triggered another WC time-out at 4:03. The St. Francis advantage grew to 12 points with the addition of a driving basket by Busse. WC continued to compete, and soon added baskets from the lane, the baseline, and a trey to trim the lead to 28-23 with 1:40 left in the half. Busse responded with a trey for the Indians, but Bishop answered with an offensive rebound basket. Baskets by Straub (baseline) and Dinkel (break; assist Busse) returned the Indians lead to ten points (35-25). The first half closed after an exchange of free-throws. St. Francis led 36-26 at halftime.

Brady Dinkel opened the third period with a left-wing trey (assist Tate Busse). On the opposite end of the floor, Altman scored on a drive. Busse then added a top-of-the-key trey (assist Dinkel). The next Busse trey moved the scoreboard to 45-28. Consecutive baskets by Altman reduced the margin a bit, but then Dalton Straub's assist led to a post basket by Richard Johnson. With the addition of another Busse trey and a free-throw and offensive rebound score by Straub, the Indians closed the third period leading 53-32.

The Indians continued to roll increasing their lead to as much as 30 points in the final period. After an early basket by Biermann, the Indians added two free-throws by Richard Johnson, a steal-two (plus one) and two free-throws by Tate Busse, and a post score by Dalton Straub (assist Busse). The St. Francis lead now stood at 62-34. Though the Indians had used many players throughout the contest, everyone suited earned valuable minutes of playing time in the fourth quarter. After an offensive rebound score by WC, Draven Houtman's assist set up another score by Straub. With 3:13 left in the game, St. Francis called time-out to get more players into the contest. On the next Indian possession, an assist by Adam Krien led to a left elbow basket by Jesse Baxter. The basket gave the Indians a 30-point lead and started the running clock. The Indians did not score again, while WC added nine points in the closing moments. St. Francis defeated the Wichita County Indians 66-45.

Tate Busse led the Indians in scoring with 34 points. Tate had two dunks in the contest. Dalton Straub was also in double figures with 16 points. Others scoring for the Indians include Brady Dinkel 8, Richard Johnson 4, Adam Krien 2, and Jesse Baxter 2. The Indians made 10 of 18 from the charity stripe.

Wichita County was paced by Sonnie Altman with 24 points. John Biermann added 12. Wichita County made 3 of 9 from the line.

The Indians will now play Logan in the championship game of the Sagebrush Shootout Tournament on Saturday, December 9, in the South Gym at Brewster High School. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. Tate Busse will shoot in the finals of the three-point contest. Tate made 16 treys in the qualifying round. Brady Dinkel will shoot in the finals of the free-throw contest. Brady swished 24 of 25 in the qualifying round.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

Superintendent's Office: 785-332-8182 High School Office: 785-332-8153 Elementary Office: 785-332-8143

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